Chronicle of Higher Education

Kristina Ackerman doesn’t have enough money to study abroad. But Ms. Ackerman, a graduate student in international studies at Morgan State University, found a more affordable opportunity to learn about global cultures through iPals, a program that pairs Morgan State students with international students on the campus to help them get accustomed to college life in the United States.

The student pairs must meet for at least an hour a week. But for Ms. Ackerman and her Brazilian iPal, Lidia Ferreira, that hour is less a course requirement than it is a window into another world.

“You’re learning about different life experiences, different growing-up situations, different laws, different daily lives, different food,” says Ms. Ackerman.

Ms. Ferreira is finishing up a year of study at Morgan State assisted by the White House’s HBCU-Brazil Alliance, which gives Brazilian students the chance to study at some of America’s oldest historically black colleges. iPals and a series of other partnerships that Morgan State has with universities in Saudi Arabia, China, and Mexico are all part of the institution’s larger effort to expand and diversify its student body. read more